Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Government United States Your Rights Online

New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street 584

Posted by samzenpus
from the papers-please dept.
jvillain writes "The Guardian has up a story detailing the crack down on Occupy Wall Street (OWS). It goes on to show how the FBI, DHS, Terrorist Fusion Centers and the banks all worked together to stifle dissent. From the article: 'This production [of documents], which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protesters organizing with the Occupy movement These documents also show these federal agencies functioning as a de facto intelligence arm of Wall Street and Corporate America.' The next question is how many Americans are now listed as part of a 'terrorist group' by the government for their support of OWS?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

New Documents Detail FBI, Bank Crack Down On Occupy Wall Street

Comments Filter:
  • Yes we can! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @10:58AM (#42432491)

    Is this the hope or the change?

  • by WillerZ (814133) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:00AM (#42432507) Homepage

    What I find odd is this: "stifle" is a relatively obscure word to use and yet they can't spell "dissent".

  • by paiute (550198) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:04AM (#42432535)
    If you love freedom of speech and association, here is your chance to do something concrete about it. Make out a physical check in the amount of $1 or $5 or whatever you want. Mail the check to OWS (http://occupywallst.org/donate/) and copies to the FBI and the DHS.
  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:08AM (#42432577)

    Our Constitution guarantees us a number of ways to work through government for change.

    One of those constitutional guarantees is freedom of speech to say you disagree with what the government is doing. Nothing about that "damages" the constitution.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Marxdot (2699183) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:09AM (#42432587)

    Obviously a scare-term that imbeciles have made up on the spot to 'justify' cracking down on protests & activists who don't cheer about rampant corruption between the government and the financial sector.

  • Um, what? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Slyfox696 (2432554) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:12AM (#42432615)

    So the FBI silently investigated people who reasonably could have resorted to lawlessness, and that's now stifling dissent? As someone who supported the idea of OWS, even that doesn't make any sense to me. As the saying goes, civil disobedience is still disobedience. When you walk the thin line of breaking the law, you should expect the organizations which investigate crimes to be interested.

    The summary, and the article attached to it, seem nothing more than sensationalist in order to drive web traffic. More than sensationalist, outright biased. Just reading a few paragraphs of the summary pretty well shows this article was not at all interested in truth, but rather just spreading biases against the many agents and officers who were simply doing their job.

    This article and summary make very little sense. Or, would that be "since", in order to keep in step with stifling descent?

  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:16AM (#42432647)

    Corporations cant vote, only people can. Stop giving the voters a free pass simply because you deem their intelligence less than yours; it reeks of arrogance and a superiority complex.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:18AM (#42432663)

    How many videos have you seen? How many minutes, total? Do you realize that the protests have been ongoing for well over a year? Can you comprehend how utterly stupid it is to extrapolate the motivations and behavior of a movement with thousands of people, spanning millions of man-hours, from a few minutes of cherry-picked video?

    No, I suppose you can't... because Fox News hasn't explained that to you.

  • Paranoid Much? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MNNorske (2651341) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:23AM (#42432695)
    I mean seriously this reeks of paranoia. There's a very valid reason for banks cracking down on OWS. In the USA there are really only two ways to legally create a bank account. One is as an individual the other is through an incorporation. Individuals can obviously have multiple co-signers such as in a family. And, incorporated entities can be businesses, non-profits, cities, etc... OWS organized itself as the antithesis of any incorporated entity. There were no official leaders, no board or leadership who was legally responsible for filing taxes, nothing. Their use of banks to collect donations, organize and pool funds, and then disperse them therefore broke pretty much all the laws that were put in place to stop groups like organized crime and terrorists from utilizing banks in the same way. The folks who work at banks can lose their jobs and face criminal prosecution if they don't report activity that looks exactly like what OWS was doing with the bank accounts they were opening. So please, use your brain and think things through before you post an article like this that simply reeks of paranoia. You may not like the system or the laws, but they exist, and the banks and FBI are simply following them.
  • by joss (1346) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:32AM (#42432759) Homepage

    Are you out of your fucking mind ?

    Can you name any major political change that happened through normal democratic methods without widespread protests ?

    Getting rid of the monarchy, getting rid of slavery, votes for women, civil rights, whatever. None of these happen through people simply going through the motions of voting. "Change must come through the barrel of a gun ..." might be an exaggeration, but it is not far off. Non-violent protest is sometimes sufficient, I hope that this is all it will take to reduce the current "government by Goldman Sachs" but sitting on your backside righting letters to congress or voting for a particular candidate definitely is not going to do it.

  • Re:Um, what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:32AM (#42432765) Homepage

    I think there are several things in the article that are pretty much impossible to defend. Maybe you did not read it, or you have a very different worldview to me.

    • Classifying OWS as "domestic terrorists" and having agents in those parts of the FBI investigate them. This flatly contradicts common sense. People protesting against banks are not terrorists, unless you warp the meaning of "terrorist" to encompass any politically motivated crime. It's obviously very convenient if you can classify people you don't like as terrorists, but that doesn't mean they should be allowed to do it.
    • The fact that the government apparently lied in response to FOIA requests by claiming no such documents existed, when those documents later turned up. Lying in response to requests for citizens from transparency is a major warning sign of bad things to come.
    • The general line-blurring that apparently occurred between state and private security. Law enforcement is the domain of government for a reason!
    • The general point made about financing of WikiLeaks is sound. Going via the judicial system, passing laws which are not bills of attainder, building a case, prosecuting it, allowing for a defence etc .... all very messy and inconvenient compared to simply adding the people you don't like to a banking blacklist. Exclusion from the financial system should not be allowed, period - if somebody has broken the law, then it's the judicial systems job to handle that, not the banks.
  • by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:37AM (#42432803) Homepage

    Yup, and another, tight beside that speech, is the right to peaceful assembly.

    Hmm right to speak out, and a right to assemble.... sounds like protest to me!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:41AM (#42432841)

    That's because a) the Tea Party is not an ongoing protest movement, b) it does not suffer the kind of scrutiny that OWS does, and c) your confirmation bias blinds you to the very real poor teabagger behavior that has been caught on tape to date.

    Of course, you knew all of that, and just wanted to regale us with your unoriginality once again. By all means, please serve up some more copypasta.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:44AM (#42432865)

    Seriously, for a bunch of squatters that were not always civil, they were allowed to get away with way, way more than any other protest I can remember.

    Aside from a delusional persecution complex, I can't believe anyone would think the government "stifled dissent".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:48AM (#42432887)

    Aye, because unlike the Tea Party protesters and their corporate backers and media conglomerates with special interests, OWS hasn't singled out a political movement/activist group as its supposed mortal enemy and started compiling lists of every time a member of that enemy group goes to sleep, goes to the toilet, scratches his or her arse, and everything else in between. Of course you're going to document some of them smoking weed (etc.) if you're watching them like a hawk. You're also going to document particularly nasty things like murders, rapes, and assaults that happen in the area and are not, in fact, caused by the protest, as websites like that would have us believe.

    If the Tea Party protests were subject to such unhealthy, obsessive scrutiny, I can guarantee that you would find a similar frequency of crimes documented.

    Here's one example of that unhealthy interest, across the pond:
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2053463/Occupy-London-90-tents-St-Pauls-protest-camp-left-overnight.html [dailymail.co.uk]

    Looking through tents with heat-detecting cameras, FFS. If that isn't an unhealthy and chilling manifestation of the special interests of a media conglomerate, nothing is.

    And for the record, "some of the protesters are committing petty crimes" is not a justification for clearing protests. It is unconscionable to support the silencing of either political movement.

  • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:49AM (#42432897) Journal
    It's the oblivious mistake that's inserted into all /. headlines and/or summaries. 15% of all /. posts are regarding these mistakes, so it's important to make sure they're included in each and every article to keep the comment levels up.
  • by davecb (6526) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:49AM (#42432905) Homepage Journal

    Our various governments propose ways of "petitioning for redress of grievance", and, as each becomes popular, strive to cut them off.

    In British law, as applied to the 13 colonies, a signed petition could be presented to a governing body and it had a duty to respond. As the Yale law journal points out, that was so heavily used in response to slavery that it was withdrawn in the U.S. (see http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/796438?uid=3739448&uid=2&uid=3737720&uid=4&sid=21101604364957 [jstor.org]) A certain well-known president is trying to bring it back, but that's a different discussion.

    With organized petitioning unavailable, personal appeals to one's representative became popular. It soon became impossible to meet your representative, and written letters turned into counts pro and con that their staffs reported.

    Groups and companies then banded together and hired lobbyists, to button-hole legislators in the lobby of their building, where the public was allowed. When these became too bothersome, only selected lobbyists were invited to meetings, and the general public was excluded from the buildings.

    The press is still allowed in some selected lobbies, but there is always a back corridor available for legislators to use to bypass them.

    Groups then started petitioning in person, on the front lawn of the parliament buildings, and occasionally their representatives would come out and meet them. More often, the police closed off access to the building and its vicinity.

    No organization, whether legislative or commercial, enjoys hearing criticism. As soon as they get too much from a given channel, that channel will be cut off. Only the occasional brave, duty-oriented legislator will ask their electors for comments.

    In my own country of Canada, this last happened when the government of the day asked for broad comments on amending the copyright law, when my local city councilman needed opinions and options on a garbage-collection proposal, and most recently when the CRTC asked for suggestions to moderate the bad practices of cell-phone providers.

    Redress of grievance still exists, but it's genuinely rare.

    --dave

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:52AM (#42432937)

    You would have preferred that they throw their vote away on the Libertarian candidate, who, by the way, caucused with the GOP? Or the Green candidate, who didn't even manage to get press coverage? Face it: we're in a two-party system, and they voted in the lesser of the two evils. Unless you're in it for the GOP to take over all branches of government, then voting Dem. was the only viable option.

    Don't let a little thing like reality get in the way of a good self-righteous rant, though.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Marxdot (2699183) on Monday December 31, 2012 @11:57AM (#42432983)

    Yes, precisely like the term "useful idiot". Both are cop-outs that are thrown around to trash entire groups; "they're just [bogeyman term here], ignore them or laugh at them and cheer when they get their skulls split open by police batons".

    But it really takes an imbecile to believe that ows could spring into existence fully formed, complete with a slick web site and well orchestrated publicity.

    What, is this the same movement that has been criticised a million times for not being organised, having no leadership, and having "no clear message"? Are you sure you know what you're talking about?

  • by globaljustin (574257) <justinglobal AT gmail DOT com> on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:00PM (#42433015) Homepage Journal

    From *personal experience* Occupy was peaceful and never physically antagonistic...

    See, here's your problem, "Captain"...you're judging a the behavior of a few and applying it to a large group. It's false equivalence...

    Sort of like if I were to, say, claim that the US military is a murderous organization based on what I'd "seen and heard" of one soldier going house to house murdering civilians.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:00PM (#42433017)

    Fake grassroots. People have gotten quite skeptical these days, in some ways - they always expect a lie. Espicially in politics and advertising. Astroturfing refers to the increasingly common tactic of creating an apparently populist or spontainous movement while hiding the support of a large sponsor (government, pressure group, business, etc) which would have something to gain.

    For example, and using entirely fictional elements to avoid getting into politics, imagine that the manufacturer of a particular widget starts taking public criticism for the negative social or environmental impacts of their product (Maybe the widget causes cancer with prolonged use, or the manufacturing process produces toxic waste) and race the possibility of expensive regulation. The company executives could well go on national TV and try to explain that the fears are overblown (truthfully or not), but no-one is going to believe them because they have a personal stake, and corporate PR departments are not respected for their objectivity right now. So they might instead organise an apparently independant 'Widgets for America' fan club to talk of how widgets make the country great, or they might find a group which is opposed to regulation in general terms and anonymously donate money to a 'Hands off Our Widgets!' campaign. If they PR department is feeling particually slimy, they may create a movement from scratch - supplying the funding, designing websites, paying people to attend protests. All to create the impression in the minds of the public that there is massive popular support for widget production, and attempts to regulate them are ill-considered.

    It seems unlikely that Operation Wall Street was an astroturf movement though, because there was no-one in a position of power or money to gain from it. Who would benefit from orchestrating such protests?

  • by TheCarp (96830) <`ten.tenaprac' `ta' `cjs'> on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:03PM (#42433053) Homepage

    I have seen some interesting polls that show clearly, the street level people in OWS and The Tea Party both agreed on a number of issues that totally fly in the face of the media portrayal of either. The sad part is, while each side hates the way they are portrayed in the media and feels it unfair....each seems to buy the portrayal of the other as complete astroturf and ignorance....division is well achieved.

    http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/11/a-majority-of-americans-including-both-ows-and-the-tea-party-agree-on-the-most-important-issues-we-just-dont-realize-it.html [washingtonsblog.com]

    In fact, its the majority of people agree on these issues. OWS and The Tea Party are manifestations of the same outrage, just from different groups, and with different groups of spinsters trying to profit from them.

  • by abigsmurf (919188) on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:06PM (#42433083)
    You mean the FBI and police sat down with business owners to talk about a large-ish scale protest outside their premises directed at them? Screw that, if there's a mob outside your front door, why would you ever want advice and reassurances from police, it's not like it's their job or anything!

    Police drawing up plans in case the OWS potentially resorted to criminal or terrorist behaviour ? How dare they! I demand a police service that doesn't prepare for any eventuality and is always taken by surprise!

    It is rather shocking that the police didn't inform the leaders of an organisation that prided itself in having no leaders that they had vague threats of violence against them. Imaginary people have the right to information too!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:08PM (#42433099)

    "Hehehe occupy a job also you're all Obama voters hahahehe!!!" Pull your head out of your arse, you tittering cunt.

  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:27PM (#42433277) Homepage Journal

    Corporations cant vote, only people can

    People can't decide who we get to vote for, only corporations can.

    There are exceptions at the low levels of politics, where it doesn't cost so much to get a good percentage of the vote if you're on target. But the higher up the ladder you go, the more it costs to participate, until only corporations can even (effectively) have that much money.

  • Re:Yes we can! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrHanky (141717) on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:34PM (#42433329) Homepage Journal

    American satirists must be in a sad state if that's the best they can come up with.

  • Re:Paranoid Much? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:44PM (#42433437) Homepage

    You do not have to be paranoid to be extremely mistrustful of the FBI. In fact, "paranoid" would be a word that would be more accurately applied to the FBI itself.

    Read up on COINTELPRO [wikipedia.org]. The FBI actively worked against the civil rights movement, targeting individuals and organizations such as Martin Luther King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. They built up an 1800-page file on Albert Einstein, who was involved with "communist front" organizations such as the American Crusade Against Lynching. They tracked his phone calls and went through his trash. The FBI has a long history of anti-union activity, starting from the era of the Palmer Raids, continuing through the McCarthy era, and on to the present day, with, e.g., arrests [stopfbi.net] in 2010 of peace and labor activists of the Twin Cities Anti-War Committee.

    No way would I ever cooperate with the FBI in any way. They're a threat to democracy. Always have been.

    Your explanation of their surveillance and infiltration of Occupy is awfully naive. Trying to open a bank account on behalf of a group of people isn't the kind of thing that merits the creation of a "network of coordinated DHS, FBI, police, regional fusion center, and private-sector activity."

  • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:44PM (#42433439) Journal

    Is this the constitution written by slave owners who didn't allow the poor or female to vote?

    The constitution was NOT written to give freedom to all, it was written to give freedom to rich white males. NEVER FORGET THIS. NEVER forget the famous Greek democracy was build on slaves.

  • Laugh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by koan (80826) on Monday December 31, 2012 @12:55PM (#42433543)

    Step 0: Control media outlets and discredit all that are not under your power, Propaganda!!!
    Why is this step 0? Because with the media intact and doing what it is required by society, none of the other crap would have happened, however the buck stops with the people, if the people aren't going to do anything about it then they get what they get.

    Step 1: Create a crisis or allow one to happen.

    "You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before."
    -Rahm Emanuel

    Create an enemy that will never go away (terrorist) and wage a war that will never end (terrorism) and define the enemy as "those without any rights" and can be held indefinitely (National Defense Authorization Act)

    Step 2: Promise to protect the populace from said crisis/enemy by any means necessary, begin by restricting rights in the name of security.

    Step 3: Implement a massive trillion dollar (data from The Economist) surveillance network HLS, TSA, NSA, DIA OMG, WTF, BBQ ), record all calls, maintain facial recognition database (thank you Facebook) fill the air with drones and the ground with cameras.
    Monitor for dissent. (see: fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy below)

    Step 4: Dis arm populace (http://www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/assault-weapons)

    Step 5: Tighten grip further via martial law or other "required security protocols", rename political protest groups as "terrorist" deregulate corporations, dismantle workers rights, remove environmental protections, and finally ammo up. (Department Of Homeland Security Is Buying 450 Million New Bullets)

    Anyone not complying or protesting is a terrorist. (see step 1)

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2011/09/costs-homeland-security [economist.com]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Defense_Authorization_Act_for_Fiscal_Year_2012 [wikipedia.org]

    http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2012/12/fbi-treated-occupy-terrorist-group/60289/ [theatlanticwire.com]

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/dec/29/fbi-coordinated-crackdown-occupy [guardian.co.uk]

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2012-03-28/news/31247765_1_atk-rounds-bullet [businessinsider.com]

    http://www.sacbee.com/2012/12/27/5079151/california-gun-sales-increase.html [sacbee.com]

  • Uh, no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:04PM (#42433621)
    he's mentally ill. OWS was just the thing he latched onto. There would have been something else. Also, the FBI wasn't watching guys like him, it was watching the leaders of the movement in an obvious effort to shut it down.

    OWS had one unforgivable sin: it offered a working and likable alternative narrative. Right now the only narrative in American society is that if you work hard and play by the rules you'll succeed, and if you didn't it's your own damn fault and you're a bad person. It's prosperity gospel by any other name. OWS and the 'We are the 99%' was catchy, simple and made sense. It was a movement that had a real chance, which is why we're even talking about it, and also why it was crushed relentlessly.

    In short, you didn't think speech was really free, did you?
  • Re:Reverse... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:23PM (#42433795)

    No no no, it's the Libertarians who are the idiots. The rich usually don't back Libertarians, and you don't get rich by being an idiot (even if you became rich by luck, you won't stay rich - the saying is: a fool and his money are soon parted)

    The rich in fact have no problems supporting both Republicans and Democrats.

    The Republicans use the Libertarians as useful idiots
    The Democrats use the masses who want "security" and "safety" (and thinks government can provide that) as useful idiots

    Combined, they cover most of the useful idiots in the population.

  • Re:Yes we can! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bytesex (112972) on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:28PM (#42433843) Homepage

    The excuse that Obama is still busy cleaning up Bush's mess is wearing a bit thin, I suppose.

  • Re: Who Cares? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:47PM (#42434015) Journal

    Zucotti park wasn't planned. I was there on day one,

    You mean you didn't plan it.

    Lawyers wouldn't have made that decision. Zucotti is private property, while there is case law on the books protecting coming on sidewalks for protests.

    It's not private property, it's privately owned public space. There's case law on the books for clearing people who try to occupy sidewalks overnight.

    As for occupy having a fully formed website....big Fuckin deal, so does everything these days.

    It's not a big deal, but if you think OWS was a spontaneous protest, then you're ignorant.

  • Re:Yes we can! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houghi (78078) on Monday December 31, 2012 @01:54PM (#42434063)

    The fact that he was the best option of the two does not mean he was the best option.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Concerned Onlooker (473481) on Monday December 31, 2012 @02:03PM (#42434133) Homepage Journal

    That's the real astroturfing going on here.

    OWS was about holding the financial goons responsible for wrecking our economy. The FBI, et. al. was about cracking down on legitimate dissent, and that is unconstitutional.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Monday December 31, 2012 @02:06PM (#42434179)

    This has got to be the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Seriously. Stupid. Moronic. This "information" had to have come from Fox.

    First, understand that Unions are self-funded. They're funded from dues paid by the members. They don't take anyones taxes.

    Likewise, pensions are largely funded by contributions from the employees. I know, I was a member of government union. Yes, the government chips in a portion as well, but only to a certain point.

    While people that are high up in the ranks may get a 6-figure pension (I doubt it though), 99% of the rest of the union employees don't. And what money the do get comes largely from their own contributions, interest and investment gains.

    Fox news pretends that pensions are entirely funded by taxpayers, and that's simply not the case. Most Public employees pensions end up less than $30k per year.

    http://www.seiu.org/a/publicservices/fact-check-on-public-sector-pensions.php [seiu.org]

    Finally, Public Employee Unions taking over OWS? Seriously? Where do you get this shit? Oh yeah, Fox. If you had spent any time there, you would know that this to be flat out wrong. What is the motivation exactly for a PEU to do this? There was absolutely nothing there in the interest of a PEU, either for or against.

    This Is just ridiculous. and you're a fucking moron for believing it and worthy of ridicule.

    Second,

  • Re:Yes we can! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by man_of_mr_e (217855) on Monday December 31, 2012 @02:08PM (#42434201)

    Sadly, it's hard to clean something up when you're blocked by the house of representatives and a filibuster happy senate.

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lucm (889690) on Monday December 31, 2012 @02:19PM (#42434297)

    They're not comparable.

    The poor bankers and oil companies behind the "grassroots" Tea Party don't have a chance against the overwhelming financial might of the tree-hugging hippies!

    If history keeps repeating itself, today's tree-hugging hippies are tomorrow's bankers and big oil executive.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @02:33PM (#42434421)

    Way to go, dude, you totally invalidated the point made in the parent comment. USA! USA! USA!

  • by nbauman (624611) on Monday December 31, 2012 @03:01PM (#42434725) Homepage Journal

    The issue is whether it was legal. The answer is yes. It was legal. Zucotti Park was in an unusual legal situation in that they had an agreement with the City to make the park available to the public 24 hours a day. There were also court decisions giving demonstrators the right to sleep in the streets.

    Gordon Crovitz, a former Wall Street Journal editorial writer, lives in Battery Park City and went to Community Board hearings to complain about OWS, as he wrote in the WSJ. They heard him out and voted him down. The OWS representatives heard the complaints, and made changes. The Community Board supported OWS. In a democracy, we follow the majority decision.

    This is New York City. We have lots of big events. Mayor Giuliani used to declare public celebrations, which tied up the City and disrupted traffic, after his favorite sports team won a game. We put up with it. We have Fashion Week, in which clothing companies put up tents in Bryan Park, a little bigger than Zucotti Park, for a couple of weeks and deprive everyone else of the use of that popular park. We put up with it. The crime in Zucotti Park was no worse than other large events. (There were several reports that police encouraged troublemakers and mentally disturbed people to go to Zucotti park.)

    Occupy Wall Street had some money and wanted to rent portable toilets, the way every other big event in New York City does (including Fashion Week). The City refused to issue them permits. So they used the toilets in MacDonald's down the street, and some of the other local bars and restaurants. So first you refuse permits for toilets, then you complain about inadequate sanitation.

    Oh, yeah. Then there was the First Amendment to the Constitution. Zucotti Park was the best example I've seen in my life of people from everywhere assembling to discuss their complaints with the political system and decide what they were going to do about it. That's not only legal, it's one of our basic American rights that we were supposed to have been fighting those wars for. So it's legal. No question about it.

  • Re:Yes we can! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BoberFett (127537) on Monday December 31, 2012 @05:06PM (#42435967)

    Why does he have to micromanage? Go to the head of the FBI or DEA and say:

    "Stop prosecuting marijuana dispensaries or you're fired."

    "Stop spying on OWS supporters or you're fired."

    It's that simple, but Obama supporters keep making every excuse in the book for that spineless weakling. "Waaaaah, the awful Republicans are spoiling everything!" News flash Sparky, Obama is just another big government, corporate stooge.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 31, 2012 @05:21PM (#42436105)

    Nobody took OWS seriously because the media portrayed it as a bunch of pot smokers with no job and no goal of the movement. If you actually read the history of the movement, and listened to the real people that worked in the movement (as opposed to who they showed you on Fox News claiming to be leaders) you would realize that you were duped and shammed.

    Grats dude, you have proved to us all that you are a mindless sheep. You are either too ignorant to realize that you have been duped or to moronic to care.

    I'm guessing that you are the same kind of idiot that believed Ron Paul was dangerous and insane, because Fox News told you "He's crazy" (yes, that is a quote from numerous Fox News shows) and played cobbled together clips of his speeches making him look crazy. Worse than being a stooge, you think you are hip and smart. Well, congrats ****INTERRUPTION****

    Keep up the good work citizen, we'll make sure that you get a cell with a heat vent when the time comes. Keep enjoying the puppet show, new show after work as always.

Dennis Ritchie is twice as bright as Steve Jobs, and only half wrong. -- Jim Gettys

Working...